IN THE MICROPLASTICS by Caleb Cloaca

IN THE MICROPLASTICS by Caleb Cloaca

Greenhouses, greenhouses, everyone’s on about greenhouses. I made a greenhouse: first a concrete hovel, then I melted all the microplastics in my belly and made a perfect little greenhouse to grow lettuce-coloured lettuce. That was home, hey! I wandered around with my paper-bag-princess bag, and found a sweet little plot in the crevice of an overpass over an overpass. Over and over passed cars and I said, “Sweet! sweet! What a home, what a hovel.”

I rummaged through bags of Quikrete from a construction site just out of sight. I tied a tarp tight, mixed little cauldrons called buckets of concrete, and made my perfect little home: all mound and mighty. I shouted at passersby, asked them the time of day and the way and how they liked my concrete hovel (made with love) in a city of hate and rage. They left me trinkets and smoked poorly-packed joints on top of my heap. A well-dressed woman in baby blue from an architectural firm asked me for my plans, and I said: “There’s millions in hovels, hard and homely.” A news crew—some channel or another—channelled news crews and asked me what the hovel meant and who it meant it for.

I thanked them all for kindness and for others. Picked a few free roaches lined in a neat row on the overpass barrier and got to shitting where I eat. Which is to say: I made a good-for-growing-end-times soil mixture of tire tracks tracked from tires on the freeway, salt for the ice, and a compost concoction. A Shop-Vac made a collection spot to spot the right stuff for greenhouse windows. I pulled little bits (and bob’s bits) from our bellies and melted them in a great big fire into a great big sheet. Grew little tomatoes, plump and red, and got a tan. Grew peas, climbing peas, under my sweet little stomach-made scope.

I lived like that for some years. Made a few friends. Kindly folk who would pass by, tap once on their hazards, and pull over to pull out into my perfect little home. The rain kept raining; the sun kept raying, pounding harder and harder still. The cars passed just the same. The ocean rose around my rose of a home. The sun kept raying, pounding harder and harder still. I got so sick. Sick of head, rather, and sick of body—as car-combo-soil is oft to do—of living in the cracks. Got sick of watching a plant squeeze out of a crack in some asphalt laid over some concrete laid over soil as old as the people the freeway had laid over. So, like all good men of such times, I got to digging. Dug a perfect little hole: one tube, one, two, three, four, many more feet deep, down. Dug a perfect little hole and a whole four months later found a well, well a geyser, pouring sticky black oil over and over and over and above my concrete hovel that was now a hole.

I filled buckets of the stuff. Couldn’t beat them, joined them, joined one more bucket to the others I had lined along the underpass with a spray-painted sign that read: $20 for a gallon, straight from the source to your death. I made millions more than my sweet dream do-it-yourself hovel. I made millions, more millions. I slid back down the tube when the oil stopped. Reverse birth into pitch-black pitch. Found nothing more. The well, well, had run dry. I packed up my belongings, stuffed bucket-loads of cash into buckets, said ‘adios’ to home and good-humour. I had done my part.

I bought myself a pretty little (not so little) mansion, and found myself a partner, fond of fondling my money. I bought myself a cool, clean coffee machine. I bought myself a hot tub, branded: Ocean Waves. I watched the earth’s bright blue sky melt into catastrophe: two bodies making love in the microplastics. I made a hovel, made a hole, made a killing. You can too: hover over “hovel,” jump straight to the wells. The world’s all burning. You might as well buy yourself a pretty little (not so little) mansion. You can too: make love in the microplastics.


Caleb Cloaca is a writer hailing from the prairies of so-called Canada. They are interested in writing in a way that feels like sticking your hand out of the car window.

Art by Jaime Goh

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